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welcome back, everybody. we start with lye pictures from chill. hillary clinton will be testifying in a couple minutes about the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. we have complete coverage of that. let's get right to our end point, connie mack, i'll give it to you. >> the conversation about the drones, law enforcement, real estate agents. this is an infringement i think on our privacy and rights as individuals. the technology might be awesome, and we might enjoy that technology, but it's something i think we have to be very, very careful with. if it's in the wrong hands, what
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they use that technology for. >> it will be interesting to see where it ends up going. thanks for being with us guys. hey carol, good morning. ♪ good morning to all of you, i'm carol costello, happening now, secretary of state hillary clinton answers for the deaths of four americans before a senate committee. after weeks of delay, she appears before lawmakers to discuss the terrorist attack on the u.s. consulate in libya, and republicans are being warn todd be respectful to secretary clinton. but it will go beyond politics. did the government do enough to protect their citizens? did the state department ignore social security concerns? what are survivors telling
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investigators, and what's being done to track down the terrorist that laid siege on these offices. it's likely to be a day of blunt questions and intense scrutiny, wolf blitzer is in washington to begin our coverage. good morning, it will be a very important day for the secretary of state this morning. she has a big challenge ahead of her. she has to convince not only men members of the senate, but later the house that she is on top of what happened, why four diplomats were killed, she has to explain what she was doing on that very day. jake tapper is our chief correspondent. it's one of those hearings that we're interested in seeing how tough the questions will wind up being. >> that's right, for secretary
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of state hillary clinton this is the losing time of her tenure. she'll be leaving in the next few days. this is a rather uncomfortable swan song for her. also, we have some new members including some individuals who are thinking about possibly running for president. marco rubio, and rand paul. they prefer a more muscular foreign policy, and rand paul, of course the son of ron paul, thinking the u.s. is involved in too things, it too many crisis. we have a number of new members on the house committee, and they have been warned, as dana barb reported this morning, noted they had to be told by the chairman of the house committee to be respectful. he was concerned, perhaps, that some of them were going to try to make a names for themselves
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perhaps inappropriately. >> and the secretary is now being seated. you see the photographers there. dana bash is on capitol hill, walk us through it, the senator from new jersey will open, and then what happens. >> that's right, he will have a statement, and then the ranking republican will as well, and then we will hear from secretary clinton. generally these hearings go on and on. and bob menendez is starting now. >> let's listen. >> since the full senate has not passed the committee resolution officially seating members, i want to ask unanimous consent of members to participate in today's hering. if there is no objection, so ordered.
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madame secretary, let me welcome you and thank you for honoring your commitment to come before the committee after the administrative review board's findings, you said you would, and of course you had a bit of an intervening challenge, and we're thrilled to see you here today doing well. and to take time out of your schedule in these final days to discuss the tragic events that occurred in benghazi on september the 11th, and the lessons that we need to learn to ensure that our personnel is protected where ever they are. in your appearances before this committee, you have always been upfront, forthright, and energetic in defending our force service offices and their needs, and i commend you for it. unfortunately the tragic events
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in benghazi are a reminder of the risks that come from being in parts of the world struggling to rebuild new governments, and underscore the real courage of the unsung men and women that put their lives and risks to serve the nation's interests in those areas. i respect what you have done in your tenure in representing not only this nation, but all of those in our foreign service on the diplomatic front line. it's a reflection of your leadership, as well as your patriotism, and your belief in the policies to move the world toward democracy, peace, and human rights. it has been a trade mark of your service, and i believe every member has always welcomed your openness and your cooperation. your letter on december 18th was appreciated by members of boths
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sides as another example of that openness. we look forward to a constructive dialogue today to learn from the events that have occurred in benghazi. and to better protect the 70,000 men and women serves in dc and more than 275 posts around the world. chris stevenins and three other lost their lives in the attack. we honor their service, grief with their families, and we also resolve to take specific axes to prevent future incidence. we may not be able to prevent every single attack in the future, but we can and must make sure that our embassies and employees, starting with high risk posts, are capable to protect themselves in such an
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attack. we have agreed to implement all 29 of the recommendations, and we will hear about the progress the department made toward implementation of many of the recommendations. i would add that congress is not without responsibility here. we also have an obligation to do our part to comply with the review board's recommendations. it is my intention to work with the members of the committee on legislation that will improve security and better protect our employees. one of the first and easiest things is to ensure that the department's contracting rules allow for sufficient flexibility, to allow them to quickly make decisions where security is at risk and hire guards on a best value basis to ensure that we're not just checking the box when it comes to securing our building and protecting our people.
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the state has this authority through afghanistan, pakistan, and iraq. we're also looking at where contracting may be appropriate for certain securitity related contacts. hiring equipment and diplomatic security personnel, and authorizing full funding for the embassy construction capital cost sharing program. it was created in the after math of the 1998 bombings that resulted in 224 deaths including 11 american citizens. the the first year, it funded the construction of 13 facilities, and nine in 2005. nearly every year since, fewer facilities have been built than in the previous year due to both funding decreases and the fact that the allocations have never
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been indexed. costs have riseen tremendously. the department estimate it's will be able to construct just three new facilities, spite the fact that there are a couple dozen posts that are high risk posts that need replacing right now. the lest sons are not about only adequately resourcing our relations. within the department itself, among all of the agencies engaged in international work, and between the department and congress. the department should be assessing and regularly designates which post it considers to be high threat and high risk, using that information to drive decisions about security, and reporting to congress on security conditions at these posts. the board made clear there were
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failured that resulted in an inadequate security posture, and it was shared by washington and the u.s. embassy, and the inexact nonstatus designation of the mission. and it left staff in the field with limited ability and resources to fix the situation. clearly, that needs to change. there are two other crucial points made that i think deserve attention on a longer scale. first, the growing challenge by all officials operating overseas. how to get beyond the walls in our facilities for the local interaction required for effective diplomacy. and the private sector while still secures our embassies and protecting our people in these environments. sectly, the administrative
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review board points out that the department has been resourced challenged for many years. this has constrained our admission to such a degree that restricting the use of resources, even for securities with has become a conditioned response. this is to say that decisions about security resources a more made or cost than on need and value. and the answer cannot come from security, that approach fails to recognize that diplomacy and foreign aid are down payments that yield dividends to us in terms of good will, open borders, protection of our intellectual property. thank you again for coming, and as a note because this will probably be your last meeting, you have been an outstanding
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secretary of state, an exemplary example of foreign policy, you have changed the face of america abroad, and extended the hospitable reach of our nation to ordinary citizens in addition to world leaders. during your ten injury you steered us through economic crisis, a momentous transition in libya, and strength based on economics rather than arms. i appreciate the fact that you used your office to aggressively implement sanctions against iran. in addition to these priorities, and every trip, i believe you're the most travelled secretary in history, you met and provided a voice to those that don't live in the limelight. women, children, the lbgt community, and religious minorities. a real difference in the lives of so many people, and you have
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the thanks of a great nation. i know you will not go gently from the world stage, and we look forward to working with you in the future. as secretary of state, we welcome you back any time to talk about the issues of the day recognizing that you may not care to spend any more time in that chair than you already have, but we certainly appreciate your incredible service. with that, let me turn to my friend and colleague, the new ranking member of the committee. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for your comments, and for following through as we call discussed to have this hearing today. i want to welcome the new committee members, and i know there will be time for us to talk about the committee going forward, this is essentially closing out business from before, but i thank you very much for having this hearing. and i look forward to working with everybody. madame secretary, i want to
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thank you also. we have had a number of conversations in the last four years, and i want to thank you for coming in today and honoring the commitment you made some time ago. i know you had some health issues, still undergoing, and yet you're here today, and i think we all do respect the tremendous amount of hard work that you put forth over the last four years. you probably travelled more than any secretary of state in history, and came at your job in the way we all thought you would with hard work, diligence, and i know all of us appreciate the transparency with which you talk to all of us. i want to say that benghazi, i think to all of us represents a lot of different things. in some ways, the aftermath in particular, of what we saw, represents the very worst of
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washington. and, you know, the most bizarre briefing i think i ever attended was the briefing on september 20th where the intelligence community said more than nothing, and it was a bizarre briefing at best. it happened in the middle of a political campaign, and obviously there was a lot of spin from the white house, and a lot of comments made on both sides of the aisle that heightenned a lot of the focus on benghazi. and it represented a department that made decisions not based on what was best in the field. i think it also represented to me a committee that has never done it's work, or in the six years that i've been here, never done the kind of oversight that this committee ought to do.
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but i think it also represents an awakening. i know that you have known this, and i know especially many of the members on this committee have known this, but the spiking of the ball, and the thinking that when osama bin laden was gone that would be the end of al-qaeda, and that was not true. and the world is more dangerous as we lack a central command, and instead have note nodes scattered about. and i think this creates an opportunity for us to develop a policy that really addresses the world as it really is today. and thirdly, madame secretary, i know it was a great personal loss to you that chris stevens died in the way that he did and his colleagues died in the way they did. i know you know i was on the
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ground in libya immediately after this, and i know you experienced this and some of the other members of the committee, but to see the faces of the people on the ground in libya in a state of shock. they felt like they were on a tether and did not have the support from washington they needed to do the things they need toed to do. i think this is an opportunity for us to exam the systemic failures. as transparent as you have always been, i think this is a great opportunity for the incoming secretary to learn from what has happened. and i know many times political appointees have great difficulties with the democracy that exists in a department.
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so i think this is an opportunity to look at those failures. i think it's an opportunity for us also as a committee, and also as a country to develop a foreign policy that reflects, again, the dynamics of a region as they are today. lastly, i think this is an opportunity for this committee to finally do the work it should have done for years. when you read the report, and you realize we have never done an authorization, we have never looked at how foreign aid is spent, never done a top to bottom review. i know it's something that people like you look at as something that is healthy, and can be done in partnership. i know there was some mention of cost. and i was really disappointed with the arb when the first thing that came out of the mouths of two people that i respect was money, money, money.
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the fact is the this committee would have no idea whether the appropriate amount of money is being spend, or if that could have prevented what happened in benghazi. so i look at this as a tremendous opportunity, and i want to close, again, by thanking you for your service, for your friendship, for your transparency, and i certainly look forward to your testimony. i know it will be presented in a way that will be constructive and helpful to us in the future, thank you. >> thank you, senator corker, with that, madame secretary we welcome your remarks. >> thank you, ranking members, members of the committee, older and new. i'm grateful for this opportunity and i thank you for your patience to give me the chance to come and address these issues with you. as both the chairman and the ranking member have said, the
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terrorist attacks in benghazi on september 11th in benghazi that claimed the lives of four americans are part of a broader strategic challenge to the united states and our partners in north africa. today i want to bereariefly off context, share what we've learned, and where we can work together to honor our colleagues. any clear-eyed examination of this manner must begin with this sobering fact. since 1988, there have been 19 accountability review boards investigating attacks on american diplomats and their facilities. benghazi joins a long list of tragedies for our department, agencies, and for america.
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hostages in tehran in 1979, in saudi arabia in 1996, embassys in east africa 1998. concentrate late staff murdered in 2004. since 1977, 65 american diplomatic personnel have been killed by terrorists. now, of course, the list of attacks foiled, crises averted, and lives saved is much longer. our security officials get it right 99% of the time against difficult odds around the world. let's also remember that administrations of both par tiffs and partnership with congress made concerted and good faith efforts to learn from these attacks and deaths.
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to implement recommendations from the review boards to seek the necessary resources and do better in protecting our people from what has become constantly evolving threats. that is the least that the men and women who serve our country deserve. it's what we're doing now with our help. as secretary, i have no higher priority and no greater responsibility. as i have said many times, i take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right. i am determined to leave the state department and our country safer, stronger, and more secure. now taking responsibility meant moving quickly in the first uncertain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis, and also to further protect our people and posts in high threat areas across the the region and world. it meant launching an independent investigation to determine what happened in
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benghazi and recommend steps for improvement, and intensifying our efforts to combat terrorism and figure out ways to support the emerging democracies. let me share some of the lessons we learned, steps we've taken, and work we continue to do. let's start with september 11th. so i saw firsthand what ambassador pickering and former chairman mullen called timely and exceptional coordination. no delays in decision making, no denials of support, and i want to echo the review board's praise for the valor and courage of our people on the ground, especially the security professionals in benghazi and tripoli. they saved american lives in realtime and they did.
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i told the american people that heavily armed militants assaulted our compound. i vowed to bring them to justice, and i stood with president obama as he spoke of an ablct of terror. in that same period we were seeing vie lant atta-- violent attacks outside many other posts where our diplomats serve. i ordered a review of our security posture around the world with juteny of hig nn nnyf high-risk posts. so missions in dangerous places get the attention they need. we reached out to congress to
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help address vulnerables including risk of fire, and to hire additional diplomatic security personnel. second, even as we took these steps, i hurried to appoint the accountability review board. so we could more fully understand from objective, independent examination, what went wrong and how to fix it. i have accepted every one of their recommendations. i asked the deputy secretary for management and resources to lead a task force to ensure that all 29 of them are implemented quickly and completely. i also pledged in my letter to you last month that implementation would begin, and it has. our task force started by translates the recommendations into 64 action items. 85% are now on track to be
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completed by the end of march. a number are already completed, and we will use this opportunity to take a top to bottom look and rethink how we make decisions on where, when, and whether people operate in high threat areas and how we respond to threats and crises. we have on going reviews by the deputy secretaries to ensure that pivotal questions about security do reach the highest levels. we will regularize protocols. it will increase the safety of diplomats and experts and reduce the chances of another benghazi happening again. we have been moving forward on a third front, addressing the broader challenge in africa and a wider region. the arab revolutions scrambled
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pour dynamics and shattered security forces across the region. instability in mali created an expanding safe haven for terrorists. and let me offer our deepest con doll lentss to the families of the americans and all of the people from many nations who were killed and injured in that recent hostage crisis. we're in close touch with the government of algeria, we're seeking to gain a fuller understanding of what took place so we can work together to prevent such terrorist attacks in the future. concerns about terrorism and instability are of course not knew. they have been a top priority for the entire administration's national security team. we have been facing a rapidly
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changing threat environment. we have had to keep working on ways to increase pressure on al-qaeda and the other terrorist groups in the region. in the first hours and days i con feared with leaders, and then i had a series of meetings at the united nations general assembly where there was a special meeting focused. in october i flew to algeria to discuss the fight. in november i sent e deputy secretary bill burns to follow up, and in december, he co-chaired an organization we started to respond to some of these threats. the global counterterrorism forum, and a meeting of leaders working to build new democracies and security reform services. we focused on closing safe
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havens, cutting off finances, countering extremist ideology, and slowing new recruits, and we continue to hunt those responsibility and are determined to bring them to justice. we're used our tools to support these dmoek sis and to strengthen security forces and help provide a path away from extremism. let me underscore the importance of the united states continuing to lead in the middle east, north africa, and around the world. we have come a long way, and we cannot afford to retreat now. when america is absent from unstable environments, there are consequences. extremism takes root, our interests suffer, and our security at home is threatened. that's why i sent chris stevens to benghazi in the first place.
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a weak libyan government, militias, terrorist groups, a bomb exploded in the parking lot of his hotel, but he did not waiver. he understood it was critical for american to be represented there at that time. our men and women that serve overseas understand that we accept a level of risk to protect the country they love. they cannot work in bunkers and do their jobs. so it is our responsibility to make sure they have the resources they need, and to do everything we can to reduce the risks. for me, this is not just a matter of policy, it's personal. i stood next to president obama as the marines carried the caskets off the plane at
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andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters and the wives left alone to raise their children. it has been one of the great honors of my life to lead the men and women of the state department. nearly 70,000 serving here in washington, more than 270 posts around the world. they get up and go to work every day often in difficult and dangerous circumstances because they believe, as we believe, the united states is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the world has ever known. and when we suffer tragedies overseas as we have, the number of americans applying to the foreign service actually increases. that tells us everything we need to know about the kind of patriots i'm talking about. they ask what they can do for
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their country and america is stronger for it. so today, after four years in this job, traveling nearly a million miles, visiting 112 countries, my faith is stronger than ever. every time that blue and white airplane carrying the world united states of america touches down in some far off capitol, i feel again the honor it is to represent the world's indispensable nation. and i'm confident that with your help, we will keep the united states safe, strong, and exceptional. so i want to thank this committee for your partnership and your support of diplomats and development experts. you know the importance of the work they do day in and day out. you know that america's values and vital national security interests are at stake, and i appreciate what ranking member corker just said. it's absolutely critical this
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committee, and the state department, with your new secretary and former chairman work together to really understand and address the resources, support, and changes that are needed to face what our increasingly complex threats. while we may not agree on everything, let's stay focused on what really matters. protecting our people and the country we love. thank you for the support you have personally given to me over the last four years, i'm now happy to take your questions. >> thank you madame secretary for your statement. we have a full committee present, so in order to give each member an opportunity to ask questions in the time frame we have. i will limit those questions to five minutes, and i'll start with myself, madame secretary, we saw late night reporting on
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discussions about the physical location of the mission in benghazi. and my understanding is that the location of mission benghazi was an ongoing one, and the con clug -- conclusion of ambassador stevens was that it was on going, it was his conclusion as well as that of security personnel that the current mission site was the best choice despite a higher price tag because it was more secure than returning to the hotel where there a had been a bomb and bomb threats. can you give us your insights on the decision making process regarding the location of the mission, and as part of that, can you also, in your response,
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you touched upon it in your opening statement, but what actions were you and your staff taking the night of september 11th and into september the 12th. >> first, you're right. there was an ongoing discussion, when chris first landed, he stayed in a hotel. there were attacks in the vent including the parking lot of the hotel. the decision was made to move. the compound was selected as being a much better location in terms of security than the alternatives, but there was an ongoing discussion between chris and the others, those going in and out of benghazi, about how best to situate our posts there. i did see overnight reporting about a document, i'm not sure whau it is, but i would observe
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there were a lot of ongoing efforts because it was important that we were constantly asking what was the best place. as you said, and general chris was committed to not only being in benghazi, but to the location, the professionals in washington paid close attention to chris's judgment based on his experience and his first-hand knowledge. so we stayed. we continued to try to upgrade the facility that was attacked. obviously, as the arb has pointed out, there were inadequacies in the response, and those are the specific kinds of recommendations that we're currently implementing. regarding what i was doing on september 11th, i was at the state department all day, and late into the night.
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during most of the day, prior to getting notice of the attack on our compound in benghazi, we were very focused on our embassy in cairo. it was under assault by a group of protestors. we were assessing the security of our embassy, which is, as those of you who have been there, certainly well defensed. but there were crowds intent on trying to scale the wall, and we were in close communication with our team in cairo. i was notified of the attack shortly after 4:00 p.m. after the following hours we were in continuous meetings with the department and our team in tripoli and internationally. i instructed our personnel to
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consider every option, to break down the doors of the libyan officials to get as much security support as we possibly could to coordinate with them. i spoke to the national security advisor several times. i briefed him on developments. i sought all possible support from the white house with they quickly provided. tom was my first call. i spoke with people for updates, i spoke with general petraeus, the presence of his facility was not well known, but we knew and wanted to make sure we were closely lashed up together. i spoke with the libyan congress president for greater support. i participated in a secure video
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conference of senior officials. we were going over every possible option, reviewing all that was available to us. we were reaching out to everyone we could find to try to get a update about ambassador chris stevens. also our information specialist, sean smith. so it was a constant ongoing discussion and sets of meetings. i spoke with president obama later in the the evening to bring him up to date to hear his perspective. obviously we kept talking with everything in the night and early in the morning. i spoke with general dempsey again. the two hardest calls that i made were obviouslyly to the families of ambassador stevens
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and sean smith. and you know, they -- i have to say, were extraordinary in their responses, and their understanding of the pride we had in both men, and gratitude we had for their service. i would also just quickly add, mr. chairman, that while this was going on, and we were trying to understand it, get on top of it, we were continuing to face protests, demonstrations, and violence across the region. there were so many protests happening, and thousands of people putting our facilities at risk, so we were certainly very determined to do whatever we could about benghazi. we were relieved when we got the last of the americans out of
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benghazi, and then we were dealing with the very serious threats facing so many of our other facilities. >> thank you, mr. corker. >> thank you, madame secretary, i agree with you that when people go into the field, they go knowing of the risk. one of the untold stories here is of the heroic nature of many in libya and what they did to save lives. i met several of the folks that risk their lives saving others. i also have to say in reading the cables, there were systemic deficiencies. ev and i know you know that, and i would like you to speak to that for a moment. to my knowledge, no one has been held account. our staff had a meeting with one of the state department officials, and it was nothing short of bizarre as they talked
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about the communications. the officials were screaming out for more security, and i wonder if you would mention one reform that might be helpful so you would have known of the needs there for security that went undone. >> well, obviously, i have thought about this almost constantly since that date, senator, because i do feel responsible. i take it very seriously. the specific security requests pertaining to benghazi were handled by the security professionals. i didn't see those requests, i didn't approve or deny them. that's one of the findings that ambassador pickering made that these requests don't ordinarily come to the secretary of state.
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>> i respect you tremendously, but we have a short amount of time. they did come in to folks. we did have sst people on the ground at no cost to the state department. they were asked to be extended by the ambassador. someone at the state department turned that down. they were at no charge, 16 officers. i just wonder what happened inside to make sure that never happens again. >> well, several things. not only are we on the path for all of the recommendations, but we have gone beyond that. we immediately did a high threat assessment. that had never been done before. we asked the congress to help us reallocate funds. the senate has given us that authority, we don't yet have it from the house, so we can get more marine guards and
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diplomatic guards. >> i created the first ever deputy assistant secretary for high threats. i'm also recommending there be a regular process that includes the secretary and the deputies in these decisions. nobody wants to sit where i am and have to think now about what could have, should have happened in order to avoid this. we had 19 ashes. only two have ever been unclassified. the one coming out of the east africa bombings where there was full transparency. there was a set of recommendations, many of which have been implemented along with recommendations from other arbs, but this committee never had a public hearing about the 17 others because they were classified. so we're putting into action
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steps that we think will help the next secretary be able to make these decisions, be part of these decisions, have more insight into what is going on, and we would obviously welcome the opportunity to work closely with a subcommittee or a set of members to make sure that is happening. >> thank you, i will just, 19 or 17 have been done, none of them have ever been fully implemented. >> senator that's not accurate. i heard you say that, and it shocked me. we went back and did a full and thorough investigation. the vast majority have been implemented. we'll give you a report to that effect. that's the kind of -- if there were an authorization process, that's the kind of information that would be shared. and i see my former compatriot
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on the armed services committee, there is always an armed services authorization, and there needs to always be a foreign relations committee authorization. >> it's my sense, my last question, it's my sense that has a nation, we were woefully unprepared for what happened in northern africa in general. i think you share that view. i know you made some opening commenting regarding us leading in that area. it seems to me that benghazi symbolizes the up preparedness that we had in relation to north africa. >> let me just briefly address what is i think a key issue for this committee, the administration, and our country. when i was here four years ago testifying for my confirmation,
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i don't think anybody thought that mubarak would be gone, gadhafi would be gone, that we would have such revolutionary change in this region. there were hints of it. several of us said the institutions were sinking in the sand. so there was feeling out there, but i don't think any of us predicted this. at least of all, the people in these countries who were then given a chance to chart their futures. this is a great opportunity as well as a serious threat to kou country. it's not going to be easy. they have no experience with democracy, they don't have any real experience among the leaders in running countries and doing security. so, yes, we now face a spreading
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jihadist threat. we have driven a lot of the operatives out of afghanistan, pakist pakistan, skilled a lot of them, including bin laden. but this is a global movement. we can kill leaders, but until we help establish strong democratic institutions, until d we do a better job with values and relationships, we will be faced with this level of instability. and i have a lot of thoughts about what more we can and should do given this new reality we face. >> thank you. >> senator boxer. >> thank you, madame secretary, you have represented our country with tremendous strength and poise, you won us friends, but you have always spoken out forcefully. i want to thank you because it
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may be your last time coming before us here. i want to thank you for your advocacy on behalf of women around the globe. you will be sorely missed, but i, for one, hope not for too long. as you said, you were heart broken by those losses in benghazi. we stay in your face many times. you were heart broken personally and professionally. rather than pointing to others for their deficiencies, you stepped up and you convened an accountability review board to look into this attack in detail, and you asked them to tell it the way they saw it. and i want to give you my take on that board. i want to go to something senator corker said, which i agreed with. the first report we got from the intelligence community about a week or so half, was very
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confusing. it was not helpful to us. all of us, i think, felt that way. i want to speak for myself. the difference between that meeting and the meeting we had with those co-chairs, which was also a classified classified br couldn't be more different. they were so impressive, they were strong. they called it it the way they saw it, the way they wanted them to do. and i am grateful that you have unequivocally committed to ensuring that their recommendations are implemented to the fullest extent and this brings me to a question. as we all know, the house of representatives urged and voted for a cut of $300 million for embassy security. now, i have a message. it does cost money to pay for
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embassy security or police on the beat or police here at the capitol that protect us, which we're very grateful for and we pay for. it does cost money. so to me i was not disappointed to hear the co-chair say, quote, congress must do its part to meet this challenge and provide necessary resources to the state department to address security risks and meet mission imperatives. fram frank frankly, i think it's a no-brainer. i hope we can work together to get the resources that we need for security, which brings me to a question about working more closely with the d.o.d. have you already engaged with d.o.d. to provide additional marines at u.s. facilities to fulfill the recommendation that
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state and d.o.d. work together at higher risk posts? and before you answer that, could you maybe address the issue in mali right now. when you look at mali, you see a government that is weak. they don't have the best security. are we working on that post? >> well, senator, thank you. you've raised a lot of important issues. let me start with the budget because this is a bipartisan issue. since 2007, the department has consistently requested greater funding for embassy construction and diplomatic security with the exception of 2010, congress has consistently and acted less. most notably, in 2012, the department received $340 million less than requested, close to 10% less than the request and cuts to embassy construction, security, and maintenance budgets were almost 10% off as
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well. it's recommended an increase of $2.2 billion per year to restore the construction levels called for in the 1990 arb report, the only other one that was ever public. and i would go back to something the chairman said because this was a point made in the arb. consistent shortfalls have required the government to prioritize available funding out of security accounts and i will be the first to say that the prioritization process was at times i am perfect but as the arb said, the funds provided was inadequate. we need to work together to overcome that. we are asking for more funding, for more marine security guards, for refilling the capital accounts so we can begin to do the kind of upgrades and construction that is needed. deputy secretary and authorizing
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staff. we've sent letters to the house and senate leadership to ask for transfer authority language, not new money right now but transfer authority language. the senate was good enough to put it into the senate version of the sandy supplemental. it did not get into the house side. we're still looking for the house to act. with respect to mali, senator, there was a country that made progress on its democracy. unfortunately, it suffered a military coop, some groups as well as other groups had been in the employ of gadhafi. with his fall, they came out of libya bringing huge amount of weapons from the enormous stores of weapons that gadhafi and
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others. at the same time, there was a move by the al qaeda and maghreb and we've been working to upgrade security around northern mali. algeria is the only one with any real ability to do that. most of these countries don't have the capacity to do that. we are now trying to help put together an african force from ecowa so african soldiers will be in the front of this fight. the malians asked the french to come in. france is one of our oldest allies. we are trying to provide support to them. but this is going to be a very serious, ongoing threat because if you look at the size of northern mali, if you look at the topography, it's not only
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desert, it's caves. we are in for a struggle. but it is a necessary struggle. we cannot permit northern mali to become a safe haven. people say to me all the time, aqim hasn't attacked the united states. well, before 9/11/2001, we hadn't been attacked on our homeland since the war of 1812 and pearl harbor. this is not only a terrorist syndicate, it is a criminal enterprise. so make no mistake about it, we've got to have a better strategy and i would hope we'd have not only a strategy that understands, you know, making it possible for these governments to defend themselves better for people to understand and agree with us that these terrorists are not in any way representative of their values but that we can bolster democracy and try to give these arab resolutions a real chance
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to succeed. >> madam secretary, thank you for your service. thank you for the kindness you've shown this committee over the time you've been there. particularly appreciate you facilitating the meetings with us at the state department when we've had issues. moving to the issues at hand, this morning, the national media is reporting that some of the -- or a number of the attackers in algeria are people who participated in the attack in benghazi. can you confirm that? >> senator, i cannot confirm it. i can give you the background that i was able to obtain. this information is coming from the algerian government related to their questioning of certain of the terrorists that they took alive. we don't have any way to confirm it as yet but i can certainly assure you, we will do
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everything we can to determine that. you may know that director mu muller was just in the region meeting with the leaders. he's very aware that we have to track the irons. >> only one person has been arrested regarding the attack in benghazi and was then released. can you tell us whether he was one of the people who participated in the algerian attack? >> we have no information to that attack. i think you're referring to the tunisian harzi who appeared in a tunisian court. upon his release, i called the tu nee tu neesh shan prime minister. he was released at that time and director muller and i spoke about this at some length. there was not an ability for
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evidence to be presented yet that was capable of being presented in a court but the tunisians have assured us that they are keeping an eye on him. >> you just testified in your prepared remarks, you said, quote, the very next morning, which would have been wednesday morning, i told the people that heavily armed militants assaulted our compound and vowed to bring them to justice. i'm assuming that you have rock solid evidence to make such a bold statement at that time. >> well, we had four dead people and one injured seriously at walter reed. our team in tripoli had received them, medical care for them, and
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had sent them on. so we knew that clearly there was an attack, a heavily armed attack. >> i think you know where i'm going with this. the next sentence is, and i stood with president obama as he spoke about an act of terror and there's been a lot of debate of the context that the word terror was made. be that as it may, i want to go to sunday morning when ambassador rice went to the sunday morning talk shows. i think we all recognize that this happened at a politically charged time and notwithstanding that, the american people are still entitled to be told the truth about this. did you select ambassador rice to deliver the message to the american people? >> no, i did not, senator. let me take this opportunity to
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address this because obviously i haven't had a chance to testify, i have certainly seen the resulting debate and concerns about this. you're right. it was a terrorist attack. i called it an attack by heavily armed militants. >> well done. >> and that is clearly what happened. we know that. but second, the harder question is, what caused it and that we didn't know. we didn't know who the attackers were, what their motives were. third, as the arb makes clear after their month of research, the picture remains still somewhat complicated and i say that because in the unclassified arb, it is, i quote, key question surrounding the motivations of the perpetrators remain to be determined. i recommend that all members and staff read the classified version of the arb which goes into greater detail. i obviously can't speak to it. it goes into great detail
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because there was potential variety and causes of triggers for this attack. there's evidence that the attacks were deliberate, opportunistic and precoordinated but not necessarily indicative of extensive planning. and fourth, senator, i would say that i personally was not focused on those point. i was focused on keeping our people safe. because as i said, i have a very serious threat environment in yemen. it turned out we had people getting over that wall in cairo and doing damage until we got them out. we had a serious threat against our embassy in tunis. i had to call the president of tunisia and beg him to send reinforcements to finally save our embassy. they burned and trashed our school. so i was pretty occupied about keeping our people safe, doing what needed to be done in the
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follow up to benghazi. i really don't think anybody in the administration was really focused on that so much as trying to figure out, you know, what we should be doing and, you know, i wasn't involved in the talking points process. as i understand it, as i've been told, it was a typical interagency process where staff, including from the state department, all participated to try to come up with whatever was going to be made publicly available and it wasn't intelligence product and it's my understanding that the intelligence committee is working with appropriate committees to kind of explain the whole process. >> i understand you stand by the statement that you made in less than 24 hours, that heavily armed militants assaulted our compounds and vow to bring them to justice? you still stand by that? >> absolutely. >> secretary clinton,
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congratulations and thank you for your extraordinary service to our country during the past four years as secretary of state. i believe the world is safer today because america is better understood around the world and you have been instrumental in integrating diplomacy in our national security agenda and i thank you for that because i do think it has paid off in heavy dividends for the american people. i particularly want to acknowledge your leadership. senator boxer already recognized the gender activities that you've taken a leadership and thank you for your help in dealing with corruption in transparency and the progress that we've made in that regard. benghazi was a tragedy. we've all acknowledged that. the loss of an american life and we've also acknowledged the bravery of the people on the ground. they did extraordinary service
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and saved lives. that's what they are trained to do. also, let me point out, you have been very open with the committee. your deputies provided all of the information and you're here today. we thank you very much for that. i want to follow up on one area of northern africa. you point out the risk factors that we currently have in northern africa. algeria is a reminder of the global security concerns. we do not know, as senator risch pointed out, the individuals that may have been involved in libya may have been involved in algeria. we don't know that. but we know that there are reports from the united nations and others that weapons have gotten from libya into algeria which points out our need as we look at transitions occurring in that region, syria, assad is not going to be there much longer. there's a lot of weapons in syria. are we -- do we have a strategy to make sure as we go through
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transition of countries that their weapons are -- we're mindful that the weapons can wind up harming u.s. interest and it needs to be our strategy as we support alternative governments and the rebels that there is a strong priority in protecting the source of these weapons, not ending up harming americans or harming our interests. >> well, senator, you're absolutely right. one of the reasons that we and other government agencies were present in benghazi is exactly that. we had a concerted effort to try to track down and find and recover as many dangerous
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weapons as possible. libya was weapons before the resolution. obvious cannily there were additional weapons introduced but the vast, vast majority came out of ga daf fdhafi warehouses were liberated and then went on the black market, were seized by militias, seized by other groups and have made their way out of libya into other countries in the region and have made their way to syria, we believe. it is a red line for this administration with respect to syria concerning the use of chemical weapons. syria, as you probably know in addition to having the fourth largest army before this revolution has a very significant supply of chemical and biological weapons. given the instability in syria right now, what we are trying to do is to coordinate closely with
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a number of like-minded nations, neighbors, and partners to be able to work and to be able to fall into the wrong hands and internal opposition for them to understand the dangers that are posed. so this pandora's box, if you will, of weapons coming out of these countries in the middle east and north africa is the source of one of our biggest threats. there's no doubt that the algerian terrorists had weapons from libya. there's no doubt that the malian remnants of aqim have weapons from libya. the final thing i would say about this is a lot of people at the time would wonder why would we have another command in the
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world and why in africa? i now think we need to pay much more attention to africom inside africa. it's based in germany for political reasons. carter hamm has been a very dedicated leader of africom during his time there but we are going to see more and more demands on africom and that's something else that the senate and the house are going to have to address. >> senator rubio. >> thank you. madam secretary, we all wish that this had never happened so this hearing would never have to happen. but we're glad to see you here and wish you all the best. secondarily, i want to share the sentiments of my other colleagues for the tremendous hard work that you've put in this chamber and also now in the
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role that you have. one of the things that i'm interested in exploring with you is how information flows within the state department and in particular in hindsight looking forward how we can prevent some of this happening. i was kir yous abocurious about things. were you ever asked to participate in an internal or interagency meeting before the attack with regard to the deteriorating security in libya? >> senator, again, i appreciate your kind words. and i reiterate my taking responsibility. and as i have already said, the specific security requests did not come to me. i had no knowledge to them. with regard to the situation in libya, not just eastern libya, across libya, there were a number of conversations and meetings to see what we could can do while libya went through this transition to try and help them with security. because it was clear that that was going to be one of their
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highest needs once they finally got stabilized. so there were a number of meetings and i personally went to libya in october of 2011. i spoke with the then leadership. i met with them in international settings. we took teams out, both civilian and military and tried to help them until recently while they were going through there's transitions, it was a very difficult conversation because they didn't have the authority we thought. >> for example, the october 2011 meeting, at that meeting, did this issue come up with regard to the inability of the libyan government to protect our diplomatic institutions? did that issue come up at all in that conversation? >> well, we obviously talked at great deal about the
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deteriorating threat environment in libya. one of the reasons we had our own people on the ground and why we were looking to try to figure out how to better protect benghazi and how to have understandings with those in the annex is because it's a host country responsibility but, you know, they were not in a position to do what we would expect from an organized militia. but responsive in the past prior to 9/11, other militias in tripoli had proven to be responsive. when i landed in tripoli, all of these guys dressed completely in black, holding these weapons, that was my welcoming party. we knew we were piecing together
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what a host nation was not able to do. >> just to be clear, october 2011 and then again march 2012, i believe that was here with this prime minister and neither one of these meetings was there a conversation with you and then with regards to concerns that we had not just the deteriorating security situation but them as a host country to meet their obl ga obligations? >> of course. this was a constant conversation, senator. and what i found with the libyans willingness but not capacity. in tunisia, i told you we told them we had to get that capacity out there. they are still trying to decide how to be a state without a security state. with cairo, we had to call and tell the egyptians, get your people out there.
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the libyans were very responsive, very willing but no levers to pull and what we've been trying to do and, you know, we need your help to help us pay for what we're trying to do, we are trying to help them build a decent security force. this was a constant conversation. >> before the attack in benghazi, what had we done specifically to help them build their security capacities? >> well, there's a long list and i'll be happy to provide that to you because it is filled with, you know, training, with equipment, with the kind of planning that they had not done before and i'd be happy to send you the detail on that, senator. >> senator casey? >> madam secretary, thank you for being here today to provide this testimony. i'm going to ask you a question that relates to the implementation of the
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accountability review board recommendations but before i do that i want to express what i think is a widely shared sentiment today, both by way of gratitude and commendation for your work. we don't have time today to do a full listing of all of the achievement that you should get credit for but i'll mention maybe two or three in light of the work that you've done and some of the work together. the terribly difficult challenge in dealing with and reducing of flow of calcium nitrate from pakistan into afghanistan which finds its way into the roadside bombs that kill our troops, known more popular as ieds and i want to thank you for that work. the work mentioned by senator boxer and others, on behalf of women throughout the world and also women and girls
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particularly in afghanistan, and maybe thirdly the -- even though we're still in the throws of responding to the challenge in syria, the great work that you've done on humanitarian assistance and other elements of that strategy that we've worked together on. and also i want to commend the -- not just the approach but the words that you spoke about not retrenching, not retreating when it comes to getting that balance right between engagement and also security, both high priorities. i was struck by and i'm glad you were so specifics on page 3 of your testimony about the specifics of implementation. recommendations by the board which now has found its way into -- or i should say which now is a set of 64 specific action items. you said in your testimony, quote, fully 85% are on track to be completed by the end of march with a number completed already.
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i guess i'll ask you one question about that and then one follow up. what, if any, impediments to implementation do you perceive right now and are there impediments to meeting those deadlines that this committee and the congress can help you with by way of making that deadline an implementation? >> thank you, senator. and let me thank you for those three topics you covered and particularly your very clear focus on the ied problem and the ammonia nitrate problem. you've gone there, i've gone there and thank you for making it an issue. let me say that we need your help, number one to keep asking who sits in this chair and anybody else with any responsibility in this area, what are you doing and how are you doing it? and it will help to clear up
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misconceptions, like no arb recommendations have fully been implemented which i know is not the case but it will also help to keep driving the change. you know, i really believe that an authorization process will dramatically change the dynamic. and i strongly irge it be tried and i go back to my armed services committee experience with senator mccain over those years. we had subcommittees and we took it very seriously. we held hearings, brought people in, we had a three-day markup that was sacrisanct but we also had the qdr and the state department submitted that and when i got to the state department i said there is nothing like that. i started the development
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review, the first ever qddr. you can continue that for me and help the state ask the tough questions the way the qdr is legislated for the defense department. secondly, you can help by making sure that the needs we come to you with, like what are the training needs, the budgetary needs, the bureaucrat particuic that are needed that you help support that. we talked a little bit about the budget but getting that transfer authority if you can help us with the house, it's 1.4 billion marine security guard detachment, 553 million. we've been closely coordinated with d.o. dd. historically, marine security guards don't do security. they only do protection of classified materials. so we're working through what the guards will do and how we can use more of them.
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secondly, be more diplomatic security personnel. 130 personnel and related equipment and then facility construction updates, 736 million. we're going to have periodic reviews by these teams i started, the state, defense security interagency teams. we're going to start a high threat post review by the secretary which had not happened before. we had a very good relationship with the annex in benghazi. we helped them, they helped us. but there wasn't anything that was -- it was more on the ground working together, not an overall template. there's a lot that i think we can take from this arb because i told ambassador pickering and
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admiral mullen, put it out there. tell us what the facts are. now we have to act on it, or shame on us. >> thank you. >> senator johnson? >> thank you, madam secretary. i thank you for your service sincerely and appreciate the fact that you are testifying personally. glad you're being looking in good health. >> thank you. >> i realize how big your job is and things erupting in the middle east at this time. were you aware of the 20 incidents that occurred in the arb in realtime? >> i was aware of the ones that were brought to my attention. they were part of our ongoing discussion about the deteriorating threat environment in eastern libya. we certainly were very conscious of them. i was assured by our security personnels that repairs were
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under way, additional security upgrades had taken place. >> thank you. did you see personally the cable on -- i believe it was august 12th specifically asking for basically reinforcements for the security detail that was going to be evacuating or leaving in august? did you see that personally? >> no, sir. >> okay. when you read the arb, it strikes mes as how certain the people were that the attacks started at 9:40 benghazi time. when was the first time that you have spoken to the returnees? >> i have spoken to one of them but waited until after the arb did its investigation a because i did not want anybody raising any issue that i had spoken to anybody before the arb conducted their investigation. >> how many people were evacuated from libya? >> well, the numbers are a
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little harder to pin down. >> approximately. >> approximately, 25 to 30. >> did anybody in the state department talk to those folks very shortly afterwards? >> there was discussion going on afterwards but once the investigation started, the fbi spoke to them before we spoke to them. and so other than our people in tripoli, which i think you're talking about washington, right? >> the point i'm making is a very simple phone call to these individuals would have ascertained immediately that there was no protest prior to this. this attack started at 9:40 p.m. benghazi time and it was an assault. i appreciate the fact that you called it an assault. i'm going back to then ambassador rice five days later going to the sunday shows and what i would say purposefully misleading the american public. why wasn't that known and, again, i appreciate the fact that the transparency of this
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hearing but why weren't we transparent at that point in time? >> well, first of all, senator, i would say that once the assault happened and once we got our people rescued and out, our most immediate concern was number one taking care of their injuries. as i said, i still have a ds agent at walter reed seriously injured. getting them into frankfurt to get taken care of, the fbi going over immediately to start talking to them. we did not think it was appropriate for us to talk to them before the fbi conducted their interviews. and with did not -- i think this is accurate, sir, i certainly did not know of any reports that contradicted the i.c. talking points at the time that ambassador rice went on the tv shows. and you know, i just want to say that people have accused
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ambassador rice and the administration misleading americans. i can say, trying to be in the middle of this and understanding what was going on, nothing could be further from the truth. was information developing? was the situation fluid? would we reach conclusions later that weren't reached initially -- >> madam, do you agree that a simple phone call to these evacuees woulds ha evacuees would have ascertained immediately that there were no protests? that is information that could have easily been gained within hours, if not days. >> senator, when you're in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on. number one. >> i realize that's a good excuse but -- >> well, no. it's the fact. number two, i would recommend highly you read both what the arb said about it and the classified arb because even today there are questions being raised. now, we have no doubt there were
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terrorists, they were militants, they killed our people. but what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing -- >> again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and assault spraying out of that and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact and the american people could have known that within days and they didn't know that. >> with all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk one night and decided to go kill some americans. what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. now honestly, i will do my best to answer your questions about this but the fact is that people were trying in realtime to get to the best information. the i.c. has a process, i understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out.
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but, you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today, looking backwards, as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice and then maybe we'll figure out what was going on in the meantime. >> okay. thank you, madam secretary. >> senator? >> thank you very much, secretary clinton. i want to echo my colleagues for your extraordinary service and i want to thank you for your leadership on benghazi, for taking responsibility for what happened there, for initiating an investigation so we would understand what happened, for moving forward to address threats in other high-risk areas and he for all of your efforts of the accountability review board report. thank you. that's the kind of leadership we want to see. and i want to first go back to
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what i thought you said about still looking for the funding to be transferred, the 1.3 billion? >> 4. >> to address the security threats not just in libya but around the world and do i understand that we still have not had that money transferred and so that means the 553 million for marine security cards, 130 million for diplomatic security, 691 million for security installations, that is all on hold and so we can't move forward until that has been approved by the house? >> well, now we have to start over because it was in the senate version of sandy. it was not put in to the house version of sandy. so, no, we cannot move money we already have to address the needs and deficiencies that the
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arb has recommended we do. >> well, i would just echo the comments that have been made already by this committee and by you that this is action that we need to get moving on immediately because we still have people at risk around the world and we need to take the action that's going to ensure their security. so i would certainly urge the committee to do whatever we can to make this happen. i want to go back to something that secretary nibe said. because i asked him about the connection between the department of state and what the situation was on the ground before the benghazi attack in terms of the placement of our military in the region. he talked about the unprecedented cooperation
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between state and defense in response to benghazi. but i wonder if you could talk about how we ensure that this is a standard way of doing business and that we're acting in cooperation when we're looking at the threats facing us, particularly as we look at what is happening across northern africa and the middle east. >> senator, that's a really important and timely question because certainly our cooperation around this crisis was examplary. and we had a very good interagency response as the a.r.b. found. but the fact is that we have to look closely at what state and d.o.d. can do together to prepare for contingencies such as this.
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and i think it's a challenge that needs to be taken up because in iraq and now in afghanistan, our diplomats and our military worked closely together but as we saw in iraq, when the military left, you know, that was putting a lot of burdens on our civilians in iraq that are very difficult for us to be able to address because we released on our d.o.d. colleagues so much. what kind of civilian presence are we going to be able to leave there and what can d.o.d. do to help us to try to determine what that can and should be? and i think you get a sense from a statement that the admiral mullen said, on the night of the attacks communicated and coordinated effectively with each other. they looped in the military right away. the interagency response was timely and appropriate but not
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enough time for military forces to have made a difference. it is not reasonable nor feasible to tether u.s. forces at the ready to respond and attack every high-risk post in the world. so we have to look at this from both the state department and d.o.d. perspective and we don't have assets of any significance right now on the african continent. we are only building that up. and so what do we need in africa, what countries will welcome us there, give us both our military and civilian teams a good safe base out of which to operate. so if we're focusing just on africa and particularly north africa right now, there's got to be a great deal of planning and coordination between d.o.d. and africom and the state department and the rest of the
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administration. >> thank you. >> senator flake? >> traveling over a million miles and 100 countries, those of us that have not done it cannot appreciate how difficult that is and your commitment to it over the years and i thank you. with regard to the appearance of dr. rice on the morning shows, you mentioned you did not select her. were you consulted in that decision? >> no. but it would not be in any way unusual for ambassador rice to represent the administration on a foreign relations issue. >> right. i don't think it was either. but afterwards, after she testified, it was clear that what she testified to was at variance with a lot of communications from the state department and a lot of the information that had been gathered and things that had been said by yourself and others
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at the state department. can you just enheightlighten us about the discussions that went on at the state department after that discussion. these are professionals that you oversee that do a lot of hard work to give this kind of analysis and assessment. what she said was clearly at variance with a lot of the research and analysis that had gone on about the nature. can you enlighten us about the discussions that were had at the state department? >> i can't relate any specific conversation that i had because the conversations were ongoing, before and after ambassador rice's appearance on the sunday talk shows. and we did not conclude finally that there were no protests at
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all until days after the attack. so maybe it was in an abundance of caution, maybe it was trying to ensure that we were not stepping on anybody's toes while we were gathering information. maybe it was because the i.c. was still looking at all of their sources and having different threads coming in. but as the a.r.b. said, even today the motivations, the actions before they went on to the compound, all of that is still not nailed down. i think we were trying very hard to provide information, and maybe one of the lessons learned here is just withhold. don't say what you don't know for sure until it's finally decided but that's not who we are as part of americans and public officials. we get out there and say here's what we think happened. it's subject to change. i think we all wish that nobody
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had ever in any way raised doubts but certainly ambassador rice and other officials were speaking off what had been determined the most acceptable talking points. >> all right. well, i think we know now that talking points, we don't know exactly where they were changed or how they were changed but they were changed or altered and i think that we can all concede that we were not given a clear picture of what went on. >> senator, we didn't have a clear picture. i wish i could sit here and tell you within days, within a week, by september 20th when we came up here that we had a clear picture. we did not have a clear picture. if you wish to fault the administration, it is that we did not have a clear picture and we probably didn't do as clear a job explaining that we did not have a clear picture until days later creating what i think are
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legitimate questions. i understand. i've been on the other side of the table. i understand trying to figure out what was going on and why were we told this, that, and the other. but i can only assure you that as the information came to light and as people thought it was reliable, we shared it but that took some time. >> thank you. the remaining seconds left, you mentioned that many of the recommendations have now been put in place. there are protocols in place to make sure if security is not adequate, that we move our diplomats and otrs to places that are more secure or whatever. let me just say, there were protocols in place before this. there were trip wires that we tripped and the actions that outlined to be taken were not taken. how do we ensure here with these new recommendations being implemented will be followed or
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add hered to because they clearly weren't before? >> well senator, i want to make sure that no one in the state department, the intelligence committee, any other agency ever recommended that we close benghazi. we were clear-eyed about the threats and dangers as they were developing in eastern libya and benghazi. but there was no decision made and nothing that prompted such a decision. sitting here today, we have probably at least 20 other posts that are under a serious threat environment, as i speak to you. we are working with the other agencies in our government, some of who are co-located with us,
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others whom are nearby. we are constantly assessing and sometimes we get it wrong. but it's very -- it's rare that we get it wrong. this was one of those terrible, tragic times when, you know, there was an assessment shared by the ambassador, shared by others that did not take into account the militants attacking that night. so i can tell you there are, as you say, trip wires but what we're going to try to do is elevate the discussion and the decision making so that there's not any doubt that everybody's on the same page, that we're not missing information, we're not resources and there by making less than optimal designificaci >> thank you. >> senator coons? >> i want to thank senator menendez for chairing this critically important hearing and secretary clinton that you are
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appearing today. we are deeply regrettable that you were not able to attend before because of your illness. i want to thank you for one of many stops in the millions of miles that you traveled and a country that we shared jointly for the second inauguration of sir johnson. it gave me an opportunity as a freshman senator your remarkable skills and stamina. in my view, your leadership has helped restore credibility and you've also built bridges here on the hill where your leadership of state is respected on both sides of the aisle. while your likely successor senator kerry has my full confidence, you will be deeply missed. you've made our country safer, stronger, and in more secure and in my view because of your
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leadership, you are. the review board found that security was grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place in benghazi in september. the mistakes that were made are simply unacceptable and i am pleased that the state department has begun to promptly implement the board's recommendation, thanks to your leadership. i know that you agree that the massive security detail that cost the lives of four brave americans simply cannot happen again and i look forward to working with my colleagues on this committee in a searching review of the resources needed and the state department structure to ensure that we do better to protect our diplomats and other americans that put their lives at risk each and every day. as chairman of the african subcommittee, i am pleased that you have drawn for this committee in your testimony the links between this tragic incident in benghazi, the recent terrorist incident in algeria, and the unfolding challenges in mali. i chaired a hearing in mali on
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december 5th and have been impressed with your engaged leadership of aqim and i welcome your testimony today on how you see the regional threats from aqim, how you see the consequences of this recent event in algeria and what role you think there is for the united states in both supporting the current aks by the french and malian military and the need for our ongoing insurance, investment to restore democracy in mali, to restore development in some positive prospects moving forward for the people of mali and how you think we can ensure that state and defense are coordinating through west and north africai going forward >> senator, i appreciate your sustained attention to africa and i think it's going to be viewed as quite prophetic because there will be, i
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believe, a continuing set of challenges. you mentioned some of them. but by no means, we have nigeria posing the threat of instability to one of the most important oil producing nations in the world. something important to our country. we've got other unrests and challenges coming down the west coast of africa but we also have a success story, at least a hoped for beginning success story in somalia. and what did the united states do there? you know, when i became secretary of state, i recommitted american money to the amazon forces. we looked to retrain the ugandans and it took time. there was -- there were no shortcuts but we had literally the boots of our american
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soldiers and the boots of american diplomats on the ground. i visited one of the training camps in uganda and what we have to do is recognize we're in for a long-term struggle here. and that means we've got to pay attention to places that historically we have not chosen to or had to. so i would hope that this committee can make that case to the rest of the congress. we're now looking at, you know, troops coming from other neighboring african countries. we can't just send them into mali. they don't have training to do that. we're going to have to work with other partners to train them and equip them and then to sustain them just like we did with the troops in somalia. so, you know, four years ago alshobob was one of the biggest threats to not only east africa but to the united states. we have a chance to continue on a positive track but it didn't
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happen by accident t took american money, know how, and persons and we have to make sure we do the same for north africa, as well. >> thank you, madam secretary. i look forward to getting your advice and encouragement to ensure the same sort of success going forward in west africa as we need for east africa. >> thank you, madam secretary. wonderful to see you and good health and combative as ever. we thank you for your outstanding and dedicated service to this nation and we are proud of you. all over the nation you are viewed with admiration and respect. for months -- or months after the benghazi tragedy -- it's a tragedy when we lose four brave americans. there are many questions that are unanswered and the answers
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that you've given this morning are not satisfactory to me. were you and the president made aware of the cable by chris stevens that the united states attack in benghazi could not sustain an assault, numerous warnings, including personally to me about the security were unanswered or unaddressed. it took a cnn reporter looking through the consulate to find chris stevens' last warning. when were you made aware of that cable? when were you made aware of the attack on the british ambassador and the assassination attempts and the closing of the consulates there? what was the president's action during that seven-hour period?
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on the anniversary of the worst attack we didn't have the department forces available for seven hours. two brave americans died in the last hour. with all of these warnings, all of these took place, we didn't have a single department of defense asset apparently available to come to this rescue. i categorically reject your answer to senator johnson about, well, we didn't ask these survivors who were flown to ramstine the next day that they -- that this was not a spontaneous demonstration. to say that it's because of an investigation was going on? the american people deserve to know answers and they certainly don't deserve fall answers. and the answers that were given to the american people on september 15th by the ambassador of the united nations were fall. in fact, contradicted by the classified information which was kept out of the secretary to the
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united nation's report who, by the way, in the president's words, had nothing to do with benghazi, which questions why she was sent out to start with. why is it that the administration still refuses to provide the full text of the e-mails regarding the deletion of references to al qaeda and terrorism in the talking points? why do we care? because if the classified information had been included, it gives an entirely version of events to the american people. going to the american people real estate tell them what happened, then you ought to have your facts straight, including al qaeda has decimated and embassies are secure. so here we are, four month later, and we still don't have the basic information. now, if you want to go out and tell the american people what happened, you should at least
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have interviewed the people who were there. instead of saying, no, we couldn't talk to them because of an fbi investigation going on, and by the way, as i said at the time, i just happen to be on one of those talk shows, people don't bring rpgs and mortars to spontaneous demonstrations. that's a fundamental. and, of course, the president continued to say days afterwards, september the 12th he made a reference to act of terrors, 60 minutes, too early to know, we're still doing an investigation, september 24th on "the view," we're still doing an investigation. the president of the united states as late as september 24th, two weeks later, did not acknowledge that this was an act of terror conducted by people who were at least somehow connected to the al qaeda.
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finally, madam secretary, i strongly disagree with your depiction of what we did after gadhafi fell. we did not provide the security that was needed. we did not help them with border security. we did not give them the kind of assistance that would have been necessary to help dismantle these militias that still to this day remain a challenge to democracy, freedom. you knew chris stevens very well. i knew him very well. i knew him on july 7th when i went to libya to observe the elections and at that time on july 7th he expressed to me his deep and grave concerns about security, particularly in benghazi. and he continued to communicate with the state department and i don't know who else was privy of those cables about the deep
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concern of security there and the need for additional assistance and i will argue with facts that after that event took place, after the fall of gadhafi, the, quote, soft footprint was partially, to some degree, responsible for the tragedy that took place. the american people and the families of these four brave americans still have not gotten the answers that they deserve. i hope that they will get them. >> well, senator, i understand your very strong feelings. you knew chris, you were a friend of chris. you were one of the staunch reporters in the efforts to dislodge gadhafi and try to give the libyan people a chance and we just have a disagreement. we have a disagreement about what did happen and when it happened with respect to explaining the sequence of
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events. we did get to talk to the ds agents when they got back to this country. we did so. it was not before september 15th. we had no access to the sur v l surveillance cameras for weeks which helped to answer a number of questions. but with respect to helping the libyans and that also goes to the question senator rubio asked, we will provide a list of everything we were doing and were attempting to do but i will also tell you that since march 2011, congressional holds have been placed on programs for many months for aid to libya. we've had frequent congressional complaints, why are we doing anything for libya, it's a wealthy country t. has oil, disagreement from some sources that we should never have been part of any u.n. mission in
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libya. currently the house has holds on buy lat bilateral security assistance. if this is a priority and if we are serious about trying to help this government stand up security and deal with what is a very dangerous environment from east to west, then we have to work together. so i hope that we can have the kind of discussion can where we can agree on certain approaches that will make a difference. and, again, i would urge that you look and read both the classified and unclassified versions of the a.r.b. that tries to deal with the very questions that you and senator johnson are raising, the timing of it and the like. but i also hope we are looking forward because right now libya is still dangerous, it is still
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in a very unstable status, and whatever we can do for them, we at least ought to agree we need to do and get out there and start delivering. >> thank you, madam secretary. >> madam secretary, i want to honor our commitment to you to try to keep you within a certain time frame knowing you also have to go before the house. i want to have an opportunity for everyone to have a question so i appreciate your thorough and thoughtful answers but to some he can tent you'll dictate your own time frame. with that, senator durbin. >> madam secretary, thank you for being here. it was a little more than four years ago that a number of your colleagues, myself included, encouraged you to take on this responsibility, believing you would have a profound impact on the world and on the diplomacy and on the united states and you have. thank you so much for all you've done. i also want to say a word on behalf of ambassador rice, an extraordinary individual who has served this country well. i think some of the criticism
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that was heaped on her was unfair and did not reflect the fact that she was reporting the best information she had available at the time and, as you've said, more information became available and it was duty fully reported. i do want to make one point for the record here about whether the american people are told everything right away in the right way so that they can be fully informed and i'd like to refer to five words for them to reflect on. iraqi weapons of mass destruction. we were told by every level of government here there were iraqi weapons of mass destruction that justified a war. the invasion of the united states. we are still searching for those weapons. they didn't exist. thousands of americans lost
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their lives. we can have a hearing on that, if you'd like. the point i'm trying to get to is, two extraordinarily talented individuals, admiral mullen and maybe one of the best diplomats of our time, ambassador pickering did a thorough review here, found shortcomings in our protection of our people overseas and reported them honestly. you not only initiated that review, you accepted its findings in their totality, no coverup, an attempt to be totally honest and make sure a tragedy like this never occurs again. the second point i'd like to make is this. some on the committee have already criticized the notion that this is about money. they might argue you can't solve a problem by throwing money at it. madam secretary, you can't solve a problem by throwing money at it unless the problem is lack of money. and what i understand you to
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testify is, you have asked this congress for the authority to transfer existing funds to protect ambassadors and diplomatic personnel around the world and you've been refused by the house of representatives. they will not give you the authority for existing funds. in the next few weeks, your department is going to face sequestration. we will cut some $50 million when it comes to construction of facilities to protect people who represent the united states overseas and cut money for the individuals necessary to protect those same diplomats. so i'd like you to comment, how can we keep our commitment to be a leader in the world, in the area of diplomacy, in state craft to avoid the necessity of war if we don't give the most basic resources to your department which commands, as i understand it, about 1.5% of the federal budget.
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>> actually, it's less than one, but let's not quibble. i am well aware that there are deficiencies and inadequacies in the department. i went about doing what i could in the four years i had through the qdr process, through creating some additional incentives and changes in culture to try to assist everybody in the state department and usaid to do as much as they could with whatever they had. because, you know, we were never going to reach parity with the defense department. we were always going to be 1/12 of the budget. but to do what we can. at the same time, we have asked for the funds we think we need to be t

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